We massage it, we pick it, we wash it, we groom it. It gets shaved, plucked, primped and painted. We lather and cream it, peel it and flake it. Shapes and sizes are as unique as the owner. It can be welcoming and winsome, or disarming and threatening. It’s a great shield, and we often hide behind it – this face we own.
We hide behind our face in many ways, willing it to mask the feelings and thoughts that lie buried underneath. Many are the reasons we choose to not be authentic…fear, pride, lies. Living behind a mask somehow makes one feel safer. But, it can also be a prison locking us inside.
What face are you wearing today? Has the iron mask of deception bonded to your face? Your face has become hardened and cold. It will not break; it cannot crack. The truth dare not be known about who you really are. What would others think? What would you do if they knew the truth? But sin is deceptive. It has one goal: Death. It will entangle you in lies, bind you with trickery and finally kill you.
Are you hiding behind a mask of pride, not able to admit to wrongdoing or give in to humility? A very wise king once said, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, NIV) The Message says, “The bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” Disgrace will follow pride, but humility will bring wisdom. Would it be so hard to admit a weakness or ask for help?
Perhaps your face shows indifference: the stoic mask – the steel face of no emotion, no pain, no sorrow. All hurts are hidden deep inside, for true emotion must not escape the masquerade. And yet there is pain, there is sorrow. It’s buried in the depths, and your soul is crying for release.
Maybe the mask is a happy face, care-free, it seems, in denial of anything real? You tell the world “everything is just fine” by your counterfeit smile. Inside your soul is screaming for love, for someone to care. You fear letting the “real you” be seen. But, no one will ever know if you keep the mask in place. No one dare see the loneliness and insecurities locked inside. You’re trapped behind a smile yearning for a love that will never come.
On some level, we are all afraid to face inner fears, confront our demons and admit who or what we really are. The mask itself becomes a prison. There comes a time to remove the masks. When the mask becomes so stifling, threatening to suffocate the very life-breath from you because of pretense, it’s time to shed the sham. Life-giving liberty is waiting. Freedom without deceit or fear is possible. The first step is the hardest and we all need help. It is much too difficult to do alone. That’s why God offers to do it for you. He is just waiting for you to ask….
Lord, help me remove my mask.
“He Who the Son sets free is free indeed!” (John 8:36)